Early in his career, free-throw shooting was a significant issue for Luka Doncic; as a result, when Christian Wood ran into the same issue in his first game with the Dallas Mavericks, the Slovenian star knew exactly what to say.
In the Mavs’ heartbreaking season-opening loss to the Phoenix Suns, Wood held himself responsible. Even though Damion Lee’s fortunate game-winning shot was not his fault, he made the point that going 3-of-10 from the charity stripe is unacceptable. After all, they wouldn’t be in a losing situation if he had made more than half of his freebies.
But Doncic doesn’t want his new teammate and pick-and-roll partner to stress out too much about missing free throws, in both metaphorical and physical senses. After averaging 73.7 percent from the free throw line in his first four NBA seasons, the Mavs superstar observed that shooting free throws is much more mental than it is physical.
There is a lot of mental work involved. According to Doncic, who was quoted by Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News, “You just have to forget what happened and then just walk on the line and [not] think about it.”
Christian Wood is undoubtedly receiving the greatest guidance possible from someone who has experienced and comprehends his difficulties, as evidenced by Luka Doncic’s flawless 13-of-13 free throw shooting performance against the Suns.
That is obviously easier said than done. In spite of this, free-throw shooting doesn’t change overnight. But as Doncic noted, Wood must make the key decision to alter his mindset in order to get better.
Even though it might take some time, Wood at least has a mentor.
After an epic failure for the Mavs vs. Suns game, Luka Doncic offers Christian Wood some free throw advice. This article originally appeared on ClutchPoints.